Observations on Scholarly Impact, October 2023 Part 2

In our most recent post on scholarly impact, we focused on downloads of papers in a single issue of our SSRN paper series. To expand upon our previous analysis, we decided to look for trends across multiple issues. Specifically, we looked at how many readers opened the email distribution and how many clicked through from their inbox to the paper posted on SSRN. Some observations:

  • Timing of the issue distribution matters. Click through rates were highest for issues published late spring (April/May) at a time which is typically after final exams in the academic calendar and when many are shifting focus to scholarship. Issues distributed in late fall (November/December) had the lowest click through rates. To be more strategic in the timing of our issue distributions we may consider:
  • Publishing smaller, more frequent issues to capture audiences throughout the academic year.

    Sync distributions to significant times in the journal publishing cycle.

    Generally avoid distributions near holidays or especially busy times in the academic year, such as exams.  In other words, avoid November and December.

  • Descriptive titles may translate to higher click through rates for an SSRN paper series issue. The greater the number of papers with descriptive titles, the higher the click through rate for the issue. Issues with the fewest number of papers with descriptive titles had lower click through rates.
  • Paper series issues featuring authors who have already accumulated a significant number of downloads of other works on SSRN, had higher click through rates than those that did not.
  • We did not have enough information to identify trends related to the number of papers in an issue, number of authors featured in an issue, or variability in subject matter.

We are learning from our own observations. We originally intended to publish this post in early November but changed course based on our analysis.  Thus, you have Observations on Scholarly Impact, October 2023 Part 2.

A headshot of Professor Caroline Osborne

Find Professor Osborne's scholarship on SSRN and her SelectedWorks scholarship profile.

A headshot of Law Librarian Stephanie Miller

Find Stephanie Miller's scholarship on SSRN and her SelectedWorks scholarship profile